Hurdles, of the Metal Kind


There were ten of them to be exact. Ten metal hurdles to jump. To overcome. To conquer. From the center of the track field, I saw my twin sister stretch in her preassigned lane. It was Bianca’s first high school track competition and I could see the nerves on her face, kinda like wrinkles only with less wrinkle. To be honest, I had no idea why she was competing. Didn’t she know? Didn’t she remember that we both agreed we had no hops? That God somehow forgot to give us the coordination to, oh, say, JUMP?! But, alas, she continued to stretch.

When the gun fired, the girls took off for the first hurdle and Bianca wobbled over the first one. I breathed a sigh of relief. But then it happened. Everything we dreaded came to life: she tripped over the second hurdle and fell face first into the red, clay track. She quickly ran for the third hurdle, but she tripped again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again over the TENTH hurdle. By the time she crossed the finish line, her knees were bleeding, her hands bruised, and her ego crushed. And, if you looked hard enough, you could see clay packed tightly between her teeth.

I’m not kidding, the crowded stands were silent. Like, eerily so. Hundreds of people watched my sister attempt to jump–yet fall–over each hurdle. I’m sure there were people (myself included) who wished she’d just walk off the track and call it a day. But she didn’t. Bianca didn’t give up and the stands erupted with applause when she nearly crawled over the finish line.

There isn’t a week that passes when I don’t think of this story. Of course–being the wretched sister that I am–I laugh so hard tears fall down my face (com’on…it’s FUNNY…you had to be there!). I, however, realize my sister taught me one of life’s biggest lessons: Regardless of how many times you fall, you’ll eventually cross the finish line.

I’m certain I would have never finished the race. Certain. After the second hurdle, I would’ve dusted myself off and pretended I had a leg cramp. I’d turn and face the stands and mouth: LEGGGG CRAMMMMP. Then I’m dramatically limp off my lane. That’s precisely what I would’ve done. But that’s what makes the story so sweet. There are people in the world, like Bianca, who finish the race. Because, really, regardless of how many times you fall, you’ll eventually cross the finish line.

Yes, I drew a picture of this story. Ya know, just so you could see the picture in my head. I’m sure my sister is mortified that I just put her business out on the world wide web, but this is my photo blog and she’ll eventually have to forgive me. Or else I’ll write about the time she broke us into BIOLA University’s swimming pool and had the cops called on us. Yup, I JUST WENT THERE.